After many rumours of Microsoft not including Windows Media Center in Windows 8 but Microsoft have confirmed it on their building Windows 8 Blog.
According to Steven Sinofsky:
I want to reassure customers that Media Center will definitely be part of Windows 8. No doubt about it. Knowing how strong the support for Media Center is among pre-release testers, we still have work to do to make sure the quality and compatibility with add-ins is what you would expect even in pre-release (as with any release of Windows, compatibility is a major effort and when we work on the underlying video engine, as one example, we have to make sure features that push these areas receive adequate coverage).
In the coming months, many folks will be testing pre-release builds of Windows 8. As everyone knows, two things are always the case early on. First, the software is not done and things will change – features will be added and removed. Second, the different editions or SKUs are not developed or announced until late in the development process (closer to market availability).
Media Center will not be part of the first pre-release builds. Some other features/capabilities will not be in the first pre-release builds including: Windows 7 games, DVD Creator, upgrade setup, Dot Net 3.5 (Note there are perhaps a couple of other relatively low profile items but just wanted to hit the major ones here). These are engineering decisions as well as business decisions.
As we get closer to market availability, we will make sure to explain how not just these specifically but all features of the product will be made available.
Interestingly, the feedback about Media Center was predominantly “we will pay extra, just include it” based on the input directly to me. Today Media Center is part of “premium” SKUs for Windows, which means that is the case today.
In addition a lot of folks said “everyone I know uses it.” As I said, we’re completely committed to delivering Media Center in Windows 8, but I wanted to share some of the usage data. This data in no way influenced not delivering it as part of the first pre-release build – we are as committed as ever to Media Center.
I’m really exited for Windows 8, are you?